Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything, a review by Jenn

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Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything
Kristin Blair

Narrator: Soneela Nankani
10 hours 59 minutes
Published November 10, 2020 by Dreamscape Media

336 Pages
Published on November 10, 2020 by Alcove Press

Agatha’s life shatters when she finds her husband having an affair with the dog walker. She stumbles upon them in the middle of the afternoon, in her backyard, in her shed, steps away from her house where her children are having lunch. Agatha’s reaction is of course what any of us would do – she takes a hatchet to the shed and destroys it down to a pile of wood.

“Men don’t want women to know the shed is the thing that scares them most, women rising up, women grabbing a hatchet and hollering nu uh, no more, ain’t doing it”

What if all women raised up and did what Agatha did how many sheds would be ruined?” 

This was quite an opening scene and from the first few pages I knew I was in for quite a ride. Agatha is then found alone, faced with everything that scares her. From the title of this book I thought Agatha might be a bit more of a recluse, a shy and timid woman. Boy was I wrong, while her list of fears is long, she is anything but timid and really has a unique personality. When Agatha is faced with a fear she often reacts by lashing out and being impulsive which inevitably gets her into some hot water.

Agatha uses many tactics to avoid letting anyone in and risk getting hurt again. She gets up to many wild things (most of which are boarder line crazy) in this quest to protecting her heart and her boys. Agatha turns into a full on spy, trying to purchase things to protect her from the world instead of facing her fears, for example her spy pants and car window smasher. The instances where she is clinging to these items for a sense of security really had me rooting for Agatha to overcome her fears and at times had me laughing, like when she decides these spy pants are the best and orders more, not one but ten more pairs then ends up getting herself entangled in the fishing line she keeps in a pocket of these spy pants and has to cut herself out, with the pocket knife she also keeps handy at all times. Oh Agatha.

The biggest question I had when reading was if Agatha would ever open up and face those fears head on, or get to a breaking point where her crazy was too much and most importantly, will Agatha stop being so creepy?

It’s a special thing when a book comes into your life at the exact moment you’re in the mood for a story like this and you connect so well with the main character. I can’t say I have a lot in common with Agatha and I can see to someone else she may not be quite so loveable but I just adored Agatha. I found her absolutely hilarious and her honest and harsh look at life was a refreshing new perspective for a main character. I enjoyed being with her on this journey of self discovery.

There are several chapters where she is talking to her shrink with this brutally harsh judgement of herself and her short comings. Her shrink is wonderful and helps guide Agatha in this journey. In fact I liked all of the supporting characters in this book. Some of which can be found in the neighbourhood moms Facebook group (with the one token dad) where it feels like the whole world is watching (and sometimes judging) Agatha and everyone else. If you’ve ever been in a neighbourhood fb group you will find a lot of this quite relatable and in my opinion rather hilarious.

I listened to this book and found the narrator did a great job and I easily got lost in the story but I did find there was a lot of texting, emjois and facebook comments and the way those are read in print are different from hearing them aloud and it was a touch annoying. Also while I loved the character development, the plot was a 3/5 for me, not a lot happened and we didn’t really get anywhere fast but I still enjoyed the story and would happily read more about Agatha’s life.

This book really look me on quite the journey and I loved watching Agatha grow. I will certainly be recommending it to many of my friends and may even pick up a print copy to compare to the audio.


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